6 Ways to Increase Employee Engagement Without a Pay Raise

Get the Most Out of Your Employees Without Breaking the Bank

Money Isn’t Everything

Many employers lose good employees, thinking a pay raise or bonus will keep them going. Of course, money is always a solid motivator, as is a strong compensation plan, but a bigger paycheck is not always the better answer. Gas, groceries and daily necessities can eat up a bonus; rather than something employees can enjoy, it is quickly gone with nothing tangible to remember. Here are six ways to motivate your employees, achieve higher productivity and a happier business culture — without buying it.

6. Make Work Fun

Work isn’t supposed to be Romper Room, but the workday doesn’t have to be monotonous for a business to succeed. In some places, just meeting deadlines or doing the work itself is stressful enough. A little bit of fun makes the day more enjoyable. This, in turn, makes it easier to come to work.

5. Extra Time Off

Time off is often as strong a motivator as money is, if not more in some cases. Offer contests and let people compete for an extra half hour off. Let the winner choose when they’d like to take that time off (come in late, leave early, or have a longer lunch hour). For some companies, it may be possible to set team goals (creating unity) and allow everyone to leave early when goals are reached.

4. Create a Sense of Unity

Spending eight hours a day with coworkers tends to create a feeling of family. A strong employer can build on this with a few changes, such as a picture of all the employees in a prominent place. Occasional company-based social gatherings (i.e. Christmas or Halloween parties) can also bond people together. Want to start off simply? Create a “Cookie Club” in which different employees sign up to bring in homemade baked goods once a week. You’d be surprised how fast people bond when food is involved.

3. Create a Positive Work Environment

Are your employees working in uncomfortable offices with no windows? Numerous studies have shown that quality matters in a person’s surroundings. A comfortable chair, filing space and the necessary office supplies can drastically improve your employees’ productivity levels and overall morale. Cosmetically, nice walls, windows and a few plants can also help. Survey your employees’ working conditions with an unbiased eye. What can you change to make them better? These minor infrastructure expenses could prove nothing next to employee turnover costs.

2. Provide Ample Face Time

A strong employer is one who has time to listen, even if it is only for five minutes. Giving your employees “face time” shows you care. That time can be through coaching for employee development or simply taking a few minutes to listen to their concerns, feedback or other commentary. Spending a few minutes of your day with one of your high-performers could save you thousands of dollars in the long run.

1. Provide Recognition

For some managers, remembering to acknowledge employees’ achievements may be difficult. Especially since many lack recognition themselves. However, positive attention for a job well done can increase business morale. As employees begin to understand their work will be acknowledged, they also gain the perception that they are valued. A valued employee is a happy employee and thus a productive employee. You’d be amazed what a little pat on the back can do.

Employees want to know they matter. Many are willing to work harder when they do. If you can provide them that peace of mind without compensation, terrific. But when only a pay raise will do, you’ll need to have compensation data at the ready to know that employee’s market value to determine if a raise is necessary and how much it should be.

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